His highness's Allure - Chap 105
Shen Shijiu was left alone in the residence.
This house was in an isolated area; it was completely empty, without a single person in sight. Yet Shen Shijiu wasn’t afraid; instead, he felt a sense of familiarity, as though he had come across this place before.
He strolled through the residence’s small courtyard, before he found a stone bench in the garden and sat down.
He rested his head in his arms, placing them upon a stone table, and quietly gazed at the sky, the ground, the trees, the flowers, and the grass. He sat alone in the empty residence, where there were no outsiders to disturb him. The faint, mysterious sense of tenderness and familiarity also made Shen Shijiu feel very relaxed.
His eyes became a bit tired, and his little head slowly slipped off his arms, and he slumped over the stone table. His eyelashes fluttered until his eyes gradually closed.
It was a slightly chilly, but the sun was shining and its warm light shone upon the small man resting against on the table, quiet and peaceful.
At this time, however, a bloody storm was slowly brewing in the Empress’s residence.
When Jiang Yubai hurried to the inner hall, everything was still in chaos. He didn’t have time to bow to the Emperor and the Empress and shoved his way through the crowd till he came to where Qi Bingzhi was collapsed.
Qi Bingzhi was so weak that she had already fainted, and there was a pool of blood beneath her body; it looked both strange and terrifying.
Jiang Yubai placed his fingers on her wrist; her pulse was already extremely weak, and…
Jiang Yubai glanced at Qi Bingzhi’s stomach – which she was clutching tightly – and immediately ordered someone to carry her onto the bed in the inner room. Only Jiang Yubai and the Empress were allowed into the inner room: everybody else was told to return to the inner hall to wait.
The Empress was half-lying on the side of the bed, gripping Qi Bingzhi’s hand, her eyes filled with worry.
Jiang Yubai hurriedly examined Qi Bingzhi and began to treat her. The flow of blood from her nether regions had finally stopped; it was as though all the blood had been completely drained from her body.
“Your Highness the Empress, the princess must stay in bed and rest. She absolutely cannot get up and walk.”
The Empress’s gaze flickered. After seeing Qi Bingzhi’s condition today, she already had somewhat of an idea of what was going on.
“Imperial Physician Jiang, there’s no one else here right now. Just tell me the truth, what is really wrong with Bing-er? Is she, is she…”
The Empress couldn’t finish her sentence.
Jiang Yubai cupped his hands, “Replying to Your Highness the Empress, the princess has… miscarried.”
The Empress’s fingers suddenly clutched at Qi Bingzhi’s hand, clenching so tightly that her knuckles turned white.
“Are you sure? Is it not because of the poison? Or something else?”
Jiang Yubai calmly said, “This subject can confirm it, the princess was pregnant. This subject noticed it the moment she arrived at the Imperial Hospital. But Her Royal Highness did not want the matter to be revealed, so-“
The Empress waved her hand, and Jiang Yubai wisely shut up.
Qi Bingzhi was her daughter; the Empress knew her better than anyone.
She looked weak and timid on the outside, but in reality, since childhood, Qi Bingzhi had always been calculating and manipulative, and was capable of cruelty.
The Empress sighed deeply, “Don’t tell anyone for now. Summon Prime Minister Pei.”
Jiang Yubai nodded, and left the room.
Everyone was still sitting in two neat columns in the inner hall. The Emperor’s expression looked quite ugly.
Jiang Yubai first bowed to the Emperor, before explaining Qi Bingzhi’s situation. He didn’t mention the miscarriage; he only said that her condition had temporarily stabilized.
Then, Jiang Yubai lifted his head and looked around, but he didn’t see Pei Zheng.
Why isn’t Pei Zheng here? He came to the palace last night, and never left, right?
Jiang Yubai was pondering this when someone came through the door, his footsteps leisurely; who could it be but Pei Zheng? He didn’t look worried at all; in fact, there was a hint of a smile dangling at the corners of his lips.
“Your Majesty, Her Highness the Empress requests that Lord Pei go inside for questioning.”
The Emperor glanced at Pei Zheng in silent assent.
Pei Zheng didn’t hesitate, and walked straight through the inner hall to the inner room. When he walked in, the Empress was standing at the door. She raised her hand and gave Pei Zheng a hard slap.
Pei Zheng could have dodged, but he took the slap.
The Empress hadn’t held back at all; her long fingernails sliced Pei Zheng’s cheek, and droplets of blood began to seep out of the red slashes, dripping along the side of his face.
His cheek was stinging with pain, but Pei Zheng licked his lips, wiped the beads of blood away with his finger, and asked lazily, “Your Highness the Empress, what was that for?”
The Empress was enraged. Did this Pei Zheng have any humanity? Bing-er had been ruined to this point; having been poisoned, and suffering a misscarriage. She was on the verge of death, but he was acting like nothing was wrong.
“Pei Zheng! Did you know that Bing-er was pregnant?!”
Pei Zheng’s fingers were stained with his own blood. He rubbed them together, and answered in a bland tone, “This subject knew.”
“So you knew! You knew, yet you are still acting so unconcerned? She just miscarried! Bing-er has lived in the Prime Minister’s Manor for three years! Three whole years, but she is still worth less than a little bitch that appeared out of nowhere?!”
At the word “bitch”, Pei Zheng’s expression turned extremely gloomy, “Your Highness the Empress should get things straight before questioning this subject. Whether the princess is pregnant, or if she miscarried, what does it have to do with this subject?”
“Pei Zheng! What do you mean?!” The Empress was in a fit of rage; she was anxious to punish Pei Zheng to avenge her daughter, and did not immediately understand what Pei Zheng was saying.
“Your Highness the Empress, this subject is being very clear…”
Pei Zheng took a step closer, and looked straight into the Empress’s eyes, “… That thing in the princess’s womb has nothing to do with this subject.”
The Empress’s eyes widened slightly in shock, and she stumbled backward, “W-what? In three years, the two of you didn’t, didn’t…”
“Of course we didn’t,” Pei Zheng’s long, narrow eyes glanced over at the bed, “This subject has never touched the princess. So, the princess was pregnant with a bastard that shouldn’t be born anyway.”
“Then, then, was Bing-er taken advantage of by someone? That would be why…”
“Your Highness, didn’t you ask this subject before about the other apprentice at the Imperial Hospital?” Pei Zheng looked at the Empress and said, “The one named Zhou Wu, has actually spent several spring nights1 with the princess.”
The Empress looked thoroughly shocked, and had no clue how to proceed. Pei Zheng didn’t seem to be lying, and even if he was, he would never have come up with such an absurd lie.
“This subject has already taken him to the Prime Minister’s Manor to be punished, in secret. If this matter is discovered by His Majesty or anyone else – that the Second Princess committed adultery with an apprentice of the Imperial Hospital while she is still engaged to this subject – tell me, Your Highness, how would the princess be punished?”
The Empress didn’t speak, and closed her eyes.
How would she be punished? This was a huge matter that could affect the prestige of the royal family. If it were made public, Bing-er probably wouldn’t be able to keep her life.
“Lord Pei, I’ll let you deal with that Zhou Wu.”
The gloominess on Pei Zheng’s face lifted slightly, and he smiled, cupping his hands, “This subject accepts the order.”
“Your Highness, this subject has something else to discuss with you as well…”
Pei Zheng and the Empress walked out one after the other. There were still tears beaded at the corners of the Empress’s eyes as she sat down beside the Emperor.
The Emperor patted her shoulder in a gesture of comfort.
But Pei Zheng didn’t return to his seat. He walked straight toward the center of the hall and stood there.
“Your Majesty, this subject has a request.”
All eyes in the inner hall immediately focused on Pei Zheng, who straightened up and looked at the esteemed, supreme Emperor, looking neither haughty nor humble.
“This subject would like to break off the engagement with Her Highness the Second Princess.”
Shen Shijiu didn’t know how long he had slept for. When he opened his eyes again, the sky had already been enveloped in darkness, but Pei Zheng, who had promised to pick him up, hadn’t come yet.
Shen Shijiu pouted in aggrievement, and lifted his sleeve to wipe the drool at the corner of his mouth. He still believed in His Lordship. His Lordship would definitely keep his promise.
The door of the hall was pushed open, and a figure stood in the doorway.
Shen Shijiu’s eyes lit up with joy, and he immediately ran over.
But when he neared the door, he realized that the person who came was not Pei Zheng, but Cheng Feng.
When Cheng Feng saw the person in front of him, his mind suddenly went blank, and he couldn’t speak.
Even though His Lordship had told him about it, and he already had a faint idea about Shen Shijiu’s identity in the beginning, Cheng Feng was still very happy when he saw the Ninth Royal Highness of the past with his own eyes.
He was also happy for his master.
“Guard Feng… Guard Feng… A-Feng… A-Feng!”
Shen Shijiu placed his hands at the sides of his mouth, and shouted loudly. Only then was Cheng Feng snapped back to his senses.
“What’s wrong? Why are you looking at me like that? Is there something on my face?”
Shen Shijiu touched his face. There was something wrong, why did his cheeks feel so smooth? It seemed like something had happened to his skin.
Shen Shijiu pinched his face; it was squishy and very easy to squeeze.
He stretched his cheeks, rushed up to Cheng Feng, and said, “A-Feng, pinch my face, why has my face become softer?”
Cheng Feng looked at those little cheeks that were slightly red from being squeezed. This little prince, who was earnestly inviting him to pinch his face, was really too cute.
But, there was a reason why Cheng Feng had hurried over to pick him up.
Cheng Feng said, “Young, Young Master Shen, His Lordship is waiting in a sedan outside the palace gate. We must leave quickly.”
Shen Shijiu was still feeling his cheeks, “So weird, why does it feel different? What could it be…”
Cheng Feng was getting anxious, “His Lordship is injured, it’s very serious.”
As expected, Shen Shijiu immediately became nervous, grabbed Cheng Feng, and ran out the door.
“Where is His Lordship injured? How did he get hurt? Is he bleeding? Have you stopped bleeding? Is it a deep wound? If it’s very serious, it must hurt a lot-“
Cheng Feng pulled a veil out of his cuff, and covered Shen Shijiu’s face with it, before the two quickly rushed toward the palace gate.
Cheng Feng didn’t answer any of Shen Shijiu’s questions. He really had no clue how to explain it to Shen Shijiu.
When they finally arrived at the palace gate, night had already fallen.
The sedan was waiting at the palace gate, surrounded by several servants of the Prime Minister’s Manor.
As Shen Shijiu ran to the sedan, the servants glanced at Cheng Feng, who nodded, and they pulled open the curtain and let Shen Shijiu climb inside.
Under the night sky, the sedan exited the gate of the royal palace and quickly headed toward the Prime Minister’s Manor.
The inside of the sedan was very dim, so nothing could be seen clearly. The moment Shen Shijiu sat down, the overwhelming odor of blood filled his nostrils.
His eyes immediately became wet. He groped around in the darkness, and touched Pei Zheng, who was leaning against the side of the sedan.
Pei Zheng’s robe was warm to the touch and completely soaked. Shen Shijiu’s tears immediately fell. He knew that Pei Zheng was covered in blood.
THE CLIFFHANGER NAURRRRRRRRR
Thanks for reading~
1.春宵 (chūn xiāo): ‘spring night’, blissful banging (⁄ ⁄>⁄ ▽ ⁄<⁄ ⁄) 春 is often used for sex terms; for example, one word for ‘naked’ is 春光.